The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Go-To-Wine Tuesday

Posted on | February 22, 2011 | Written by Tim Hemphill | No Comments

Being a financial guy and quite thrifty at times (usually because my wife makes me), I enjoy finding the best deals.  That being said, I would never sacrifice quality for cost.  This truism especially goes for wines.

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of finding a “go-to” wine you like and becoming a creature of habit; price, in short, is a factor that can make you blind to risking change.  One of the amazing things about working for IWM, a wine shop that prides itself on quality, is that you know that even the less expensive wines are going to be great.  That’s why when I was perusing our inventory, the Collemattoni Rosso di Montalcino 2007, at around $24, seemed like an opportunity to expand my palate.

When I first opened the bottle, I had no expectations, just a longing for a new experience in tasting. This classic Italian DOC wine from Southwestern Toscana crafted from the ever-popular Sangiovese may have a traditional style, but it certainly packed a wallop to my senses.

After letting it sit for about an hour, I discovered there were distinct scents of black cherry on the nose. The wine had an earthy rustic hue; the color was dark as night and almost completely opaque to light.  To be absolutely blunt, it looked like a thick wine, not thick like a dessert wine, but there’s a weightiness that you can see in the glass.    I knew that if the taste was as strong as the aromas, I was in for a flavorful treat.

At first sip, I found it was powerful.  There was a peppery kick, which I did not expect.  As a New Orleans native, I’m used to the spices and cuisines that the Cajun and Creole cultures offer, but this wine’s spiciness was something different, like a twist ending in a captivating novel.  Tannin levels were surprisingly soft in this wine, which I much appreciated.  The heaviness on the palate helped to allow the complex flavor of the jammy fruits and spicy finish to linger just enough for a slight metamorphosis to unfold.  Though I did not pair this with a particular food, as I really wanted to draw a feeling out of this drink, it would probably do well with leaner meats.

Having the chance to select from such a wide array of wines from around the world makes it difficult to fall back into the same habits. Still, I have to raise my glass to Mr. Aldo Bucci, the creator of this fine wine, and admit that I will have to make this one a true “go-to.”

For another take on this wine, visit the very fine wine review blog Maker’s Table.

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